DANNEMORA, N.Y. — She was a valued prison employee. Now she will be just another inmate.
Joyce Mitchell admitted to getting in over her head when she befriended the two convicted murderers, engaged in sexual activity with one of them, and ultimately helped them to make their incredible escape from the maximum security prison in upstate Dannemora.
In a barely audible voice, Joyce Mitchell pleaded guilty to charges of aiding Richard Matt and David Sweat in their breakout of the maximum-security Clinton Correctional Facility. The pair used hacksaw blades and other tools to chisel their way out.
As she stood in shackles, a series of statements Mitchell made to police were released. She pours her heart out about her relationship with the convicted murderers and how she helped them with their escape.
In excerpts from her statements she said she first met Richard Matt:
"We talked every day and he treated me with respect and was nice to me. He made me feel special."
At one point at the end of April, Mitchell said she was alone with Matt in the prison tailor shop when he kissed her.
"He grabbed me and kissed me. It startled me. He kissed me with an open mouth kiss," said Mitchell.
The relationship escalated and the pair engaged in oral sex.
"Matt asked me to get him two hacksaw blades. He initially told me it was for making frames, but I later found out that inmate Matt and inmate Sweat had cut a hole in the wall and were going down the pipes," she said in May.
"i originally brought in two blades, by bending them in half and putting them in some hamburger which I put in the freezer."
Mitchell said she was caught up in the fantasy of it all.
"i enjoyed the attention, the feeling both of them gave me, and the thought of a different life."
She said she bought other tools at Walmart and was aware of the escape plans for several weeks.
"The plan was that I was going to leave my husband and meet them and we were all going to leave together. After I picked them up, the plan was to drive to my home and inmate Matt was going to kill 'the glitch.' Matt referred to my husband as 'the glitch.' After Matt killed Lyle, we were going to drive somewhere."
Mitchell said she was supposed to drug her husband, but didn't, and she never picked up the escaped convicts.
"I laid down and was having a panic attack. I really do love my husband and he's the reason I didn't meet inmate Matt and inmate Sweat. I really am sorry for what I have done."
Matt and Sweat were on the run for three weeks before Matt was was shot and killed and Sweat recaptured.
Mitchell's lawyer said he encouraged his client to take the plea deal.
"She got in over her head into something that she never should have started. But she did, and she's paying the price now," said Stephen Johnson.
In her statements, Mitchell professed her love for her husband and said that is why she couldn't go through with the escape plan.
After her day in court, her husband tried to dodge reporters but told them he is standing behind his wife because he loves her.
Mitchell faces two and a third to seven years in prison when she is sentenced September 28th.